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Āryāvarta (Sanskrit: आर्यावर्त, lit. "abode of the excellent ones",[1] Sanskrit pronunciation: [aːɾjaːˈʋəɾtə]) is the term mentioned for a part of the Indian subcontinent in a few classical Hindu texts in Sanskrit such as by Patanjali and the authors of Dharmasastras. These texts also name other parts of the Indian subcontinent as Brahmavarta, Madhyadesha, Panchala and others, with neither clear boundaries nor details about who lived in them.[2][3]

The term Aryavarta appears in contemporary literature relating to the Indo-Aryan history with Aryavarta referring to the land of the Aryans, distinguishing it from the Indian subcontinent regions where the Dravidians lived in ancient times. The term is controversial.[4]

Classical sources[edit]

The Manusmṛti (2.22) gives the name to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern Sea (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".[5][6]

The Vasistha Dharma Sutra I.8-9 and 12-13 locates the Āryāvarta to the east of the disappearance of the Sarasvati River in the desert, to the west of the Kālakavana, to the north of the Pariyatra Mountains and the Vindhya Range and to the south of the Himalayas.[7]

The Baudhayana Dharmasutra (BDS) gives similar definitions and declares that Āryāvarta is the land that lies west of Kālakavana, east of Adarsana, south of the Himalayas and north of the Vindhyas, but in BDS Āryāvarta is confined to the doab of the Ganges-Yamuna, and BDS Patanjali's Mahābhāṣya[citation needed] defines Āryāvarta like the Vasistha Dharmasutra.

The Gurjara-Pratihara king in the tenth century was titled the Maharajadhiraja of Aryavarta.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aryavarta, Monier Williams Sanskrit English Dictionary (1899)
  2. ^ Madhav Deshpande (1993). Sanskrit & Prakrit, Sociolinguistic Issues. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-81-208-1136-2. 
  3. ^ Shashi Shekhar Sharma (2005). Imagined Manuvād: the Dharmaśāstras and their interpreters. Rupa & Co. pp. 91–97. 
  4. ^ Edwin Francis Bryant; Laurie L. Patton (2005). The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History. Routledge. pp. 419–422. ISBN 978-0-7007-1463-6. 
  5. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 70. 
  6. ^ Michael Cook (2014), Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press, p.68: "Aryavarta [...] is defined by Manu as extending from the Himalayas in the north to the Vindhyas of Central India in the south and from the sea in the west to the sea in the east."
  7. ^ Neelis 2010, p. 194.
  8. ^ André Wink (2002). Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th-11th centuries. BRILL. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8.